Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 59 An added bonus: letting go of shame and fear

I spent about 20 years in the county jail of overeating and an earlier 20 years in the prison of alcoholism. Much of both of those experiences was driven by shame and fear. Shame that I couldn't stop doing what I was doing and fear that I was ruining my health and some nights that I was killing myself. When I got sober in 1989, the fear and shame went into hiding for a while. I was at a healthy weight and didn't worry about the massive amounts of numbing sugar and fat I begin to eat in substitution for the numbing effects of alcohol. Then probably 4 years into sobriety, all those calories caught up with me and I was deep into addiction again, one that seemed even harder to kick than alcohol in some ways. How do you abstain from food?

As I've said in earlier posts, my diet experiences had been full of deprivation, craving, misery. The joy of being thin or thinner never felt better than being numb. I looked better maybe, but I sure didn't feel better. I knew when I got sober, that I couldn't just stop drinking. I would have to have a life where drinking was no longer needed for survival. And yet how could I stop eating? I never imagined that it was what I was eating that was the problem, not just how much.

This week I'm keeping a food diary. I'm keeping it for my coach so there's a little bit of anxiety there about what she'll think, but no matter what I eat or how much, I don't feel shame or fear around it. I'm not ashamed of eating too much healthy food or afraid it will kill me. What a relief!

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